£20m not £183m fine for BA after website security breach

Image of BA planes for decorative purposes

Share This Post

You’ll recall back in July last year the ICO indicated it intended to fine British Airways £183m for a data breach it had suffered via its website whereby nearly 430,000 website users including customers and staff and the data stolen included names, addresses, credit card details (including security codes).

On the 16th October 2020 the ICO finally issued their fine of £20m against BA for the breach. This is obviously a million miles away from their original intention of £183m. The difference between the intention and the actual fine in the end is a result of the COVID-effect; it would have seemed unreasonable for the ICO to stick to its original fine given the difficulties the aviation industry are in since the Coronavirus pandemic, but it’s still the largest fine the ICO has ever issued (but still only the second fine under GDPR). The ICO said in a statement:

In June 2019 the ICO issued BA with a notice of intent to fine. As part of the regulatory process the ICO considered both representations from BA and the economic impact of COVID-19 on their business before setting a final penalty

The ICO investigation found that BA:

  • Was “processing a significant amount of personal data without adequate security measures in place
  • Took more than 2 months to spot a cyber-attack (in 2018) – in fact they only found out about it when someone told them
  • Could have taken measures to mitigate security risk including limiting access to applications, data and tools, rigorous testing including mock ups of cyber-security attacks and the use of multi-factor authentication

Full details can be found in the penalty notice.

More To Explore

Eat. Sleep. GDPR. Repeat.

We live and breathe GDPR and ePrivacy compliance, so you don’t have too. Our GDPR UNLIMITED helpline is all about offering you help and support, whenever you need it most. As well as the unlimited helpline, you get up to 4 hours “hands-on” help each month, which we can configure to help you in anyway you need such as a GDPR review, or acting as your DPO.

As well as the unlimited helpline and hands-on help you get GDPR and privacy updates, access to our GDPR knowledge centre and webinars.

Unlimited email & phone support

Unlimited email and phone support. Email or organise a voice call as often as you need each month.​

Up to 4 hours "hands-on" help per month

We use these "hands-on" hours to do the GDPR work for you, such as reviews, acting as your DPO, checking DPIA, dealing with breaches, training your staff, etc. (Additional hours: £100+VAT per hour)

Online resources

Our Knowledge Centre gives you access to information, guidance, topic related guides and other tools to support your GDPR and PECR compliance

Updates, alerts & briefings

We provide updates and alerts and a monthly compliance briefing. You can either sign into the Knowledge Centre or sign up via email to receive an email every time we add a new update or alert

DPO services

Whether mandated or not we can act as your Data Protection Officer (DPO) and manage your day to day compliance

Webinars, workshops & training

Whether updates on the latest issue, workshops or team training, it's all included in your monthly retainer.

LIKE WHAT YOU'RE READING? join our email list

Sign up for monthly briefings and the occasional emails about our webinars and services

Want to know more about how we use your data? Check out our privacy policy